South Dakota’s Fort Pierre Racetrack May Not Operate In 2018

One of just two horse racing tracks in South Dakota, Fort Pierre has been operated by the Verendrye Benevolent Association for more than 50 years. According to the Capital Journal, the VBA submitted a written statement on Monday announcing that it would be unable to host the races for the 2018 season because of a “continued decline in funds provided by the South Dakota Commission on Gaming.”

Just five years ago, the commission allocated $300,000 to the VBA to host its racing meet. This year, the announced allocation was down to $170,000. That money comes from taxes on pari-mutuel wagering in two state locations, one of which declared bankruptcy and hasn’t taken any wagers since Oct. 3, so the allocation could be even smaller for 2019.

Though the VBA has announced its decision to abstain from running a horse racing meet in Fort Pierre in 2018, there is a slight possibility that another entity could come in to run the race meet in the same location. Of course, that option would require commission approval.

Owner Bob Johnson is concerned for the future of the entire South Dakota horse racing industry if indeed there is no 2018 racing at Fort Pierre, to which he normally brings 60-70 horses.

“It’s over,” he said. “It will bite the industry really hard, if not kill it.”

Read more at the Capital Journal.

The post South Dakota’s Fort Pierre Racetrack May Not Operate In 2018 appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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